Thursday, November 8, 2007

Air Fortress Redux

I decided to go a totally different direction in the design of the character, and this is what I came up with.

He looks less Bond/Ninja and more Chibi Astronaut. I obviously don't hold a candle to this guy with my artistic ability, but I'm pretty happy with it. I did strive for a painterly look on this one. I like the look of the visor, but everything else just seems so flat. The color selections aren't that great. But, for what it's worth I like the character design.

Any thoughts? Critiques?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Air Fortress

Remember Air Fortress for the NES? That game rocked. Here's the Orange Space-Dude-Guy, drawn with lots of design liberties on my part. Just a quick sketch, playing with a different style.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Harwing vs. Manitu

Here's another sketch I managed to come up with. I went outside of my comfort zone with Harwing's pose. Something about it is not quite right (are his legs too short?), but I still like the general composition. It does look like he's running away, but hopefully you get a sense that he might be planning his counter attack.

That handsome gentleman chasing our hero is Manitu, the all-too-powerful and quite-predictably-evil sorcerer in the Gilded Saga story. As you can tell, they don't ... quite ... get along. Manitu's design is not final, but it's probably close. His staff/cane is supposed to be a crow's head.

I'd like to ink and color this picture next, I think it could turn out nice.

Here Be Dragons!

Here's a generic dragon to take up space!

Whee! I think he's got a certain charm to him, and he looks like he's rather annoyed, craning his neck to tell those damn villagers to just shut up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Epic Battle

Well, I went ahead and finished it. I'm not quite sure what to do with the background, whatever I could think of would distract from the foreground. Maybe a simple gradient will suffice.

This is easily one of the most epic things I've created in a long time:

(most definitely click to view the 800 x 600 version -- the full resolution of the version on my computer is 3200 x 2400)

I finished coloring Myrxus and Danter this morning, and did their shading over a couple of hours this afternoon. Finally, I drew/scanned the "Hell Snake" and colored him as well. I'm not entirely happy with the stone bridge, but I think the lava's neat. Drawing each of those stones in the bridge took forever, and I got lazy towards the end and ended up just drawing jaggy lines all over the place.

Finally, I added glowy/gradienty effects for the various heroes' spells and weapons.

I know the perspective is not perfect on the characters (first, you would see the *back* of the Hell Snake if he was really facing off against the heroes), and the anatomy may be lacking in the heroes. I feel I get a little better with the cel shading everytime I try, but I still have a hard time making things look voluminous ... I can probably blame some of that on my line work.

I do think the wonky perspective does have a charm to it, makes it seem more like a folk painting than an image of an actual event.

Any comments?

P.S. I should take time off of work more often!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Harwing in Technicolor (where available)

Here's a Harwing color test. I "inked" him with the Wacom and applied the base color. I'm not too thrilled with the armor color. I'm going for bronze, but this looks kind of pink/orange to me.


Gilded Saga

My week off of work starts off strong! I managed to crank out new "in pose" sketches of Harwing, Danter and Myrxus. I'll color them separately and composite them into a larger picture.

First, Danter:

He's knealing, deep in a meditation/prayer.

Next, Myrxus:

He looks deceptively calm, for a Wizard about to unleash some ass-kicking! Maybe he's recharging his mana?

Finally, Harwing:

I love how he turned out. I like the design and the bad-ass expression on his face. He's so X-Treme. To the max. Mega.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wizards and Clerics

Finally managed to muster up a sketch that didn't make me vomit. A couple, in fact. These are really hastily done, but I like the designs more than the execution. I hope to clean them up or re-do them in full color soon.

I had an idea to revisit a drawing I did probably 10 years ago, in High School. The drawing featured three characters, a Paladin, a Wizard and a Cleric, facing off against a dragon-y thing.

So the first step is to update those old characters. It had been so long that I almost forgot their names!

First, the Cleric, Danter:

I really tried to play up his robes. I almost always drawing Clerics or Wizards with plain, boring robes. I think it would be quite the opposite in real life, and that they would wear robes adorned in lots of hand-sewn details that each meant something to their faith or practice. I imagine his robe to be white, but the trim to be red and gold.

And here's Myrxus, the Elemental Wizard:

Again, I paid attention to the details. I imagine his robe to be all the colors of twilight, dark blues, purples, sapphire and hints of deep crimson reds and burnt oranges.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Spy Jupiter Dump

After a week or so of farting around in my sketch book, playing with designs and proportions, I decided to sit down and do a walk cycle. This is very rough, and I'm hoping to simply get my feet wet. I need more intermediate frames and more exaggerated movements, but here it is:

Also, here's a enemy/boss design I farted around with:

And finally, I tried to simplify the Spy Jupiter character design, to make animation easier:

Definitely more to come.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Spy Jupiter: Color, Proportions

Here's a quick color/proportion test for Spy Jupiter.

I don't like the face much at all. It seems way too flat. And the goggles are awkward when they reach the back of Spy's head. I'm pretty sure I like the colors, which was the point of the exercise anyway.

I also fiddled with Spy's body proportions, and I think I hit upon a good model for Spy Jupiter. It's a good super-deformed proportion -- right around 3.5 heads tall, super exaggerated hair, larger hands and feet. Reminds me a lot of Classic Mega Man.

The thing I've always failed at is consistency in character design. Sometimes my characters are 8 heads tall, sometimes only 2 heads tall. I'm forcing myself to make conscious decisions about Spy Jupiter, really fleshing out his anatomy (pun definitely intended). Having to think about how long his arms are in 3-dimensions and making them look good in any pose is a huge challenge for me, especially without any figure drawing under my belt. I've got a long way to go in this regard.

If I want to apply this or any of my characters to a sprite-based game, I have to get consistent proportions down right off the bat, so that different animations (walking, running, jumping, shooting) of the character can be arranged in arbitrary order and still come off as looking seemless.

I wanted to get a standing/breathing and a simple walk cycle for Spy Jupiter this weekend, but it didn't happen. It's hard to break myself free of the Wacom, but drawing on paper is refreshing. It's obviously easier to draw on paper (and the results are much better, albeit not as clean), but without a quick undo option, every pencil mark seems like a commitment I'm not ready to make.

I think my next exercise will be creating a simple flipbook animation of the 4 key frames of Spy's walk cycle. Getting those joints to look consistent will be a challenge, and I'll probably learn a lot. Then I'll flesh out the inbetween frames, think about the secondary motions (hair, the fur collar, etc).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Spy Jupiter

Here's a sketch (aiming to be a model drawing) of my favorite character, Spy Jupiter:

I feel like going through the exercise of planning out the Spy Jupiter game, design document, maps and all. Until I find either: a way to slow down time so that I have 36 hours in a day, or some people willing to help really work on it, it'll have to remain the un-done project.

I am hoping to take a 3d modeling class (to complement the animation class I took last semester) and would love to model out Spy Jupiter. I think having pre-rendered cel shaded characters on a hand drawn/cartoony/solid shaded background would be trés magnifique.

I like the Magmalisk. I just think it's funny to have a giant lizard/dragon with a tail that ends in a flame.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Angel Boy

Sorry for the long hiatus. I just moved into a new house, and am still getting into the groove. I have a ton of creative juices flowing, and really want to get serious on a project. In the meantime, here's a weird Angel Boy thing I sketched out.

Sorry for the excessive light bloom. It seemed appropriate.

A game where you played as a fallen angel trying to get back your angel powers (old school 2-D sidescrolling style, of course) and earn a place in Heaven would be cool. Of course, it would have to not be heavy handed or religious in tone.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Sorry for the hiatus. Work has been sucking me dry. But, when I'm not working I've been playing some N. Here's some fan-art, inspired by old Activision Atari 2600 box-art.

Click for a larger version. What do you think? I actually had more fun doing this than I have been playing N lately. Stupid 29-3 is eating me alive. I'm going to hear the sounds of missiles launching in my sleep.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Green Tunics Ahoy!

Using the same technique as the Samus portrait I did last time, I did a Link portrait. It's definitely my style, but the anatomy and shading needs work. Again, I like the tone of the colors.

I actually made a background for this one, even if it was a bit rushed.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Samus Aran

It's Samus! Sorry for the sporadic posts. Work has taken over lately. This was inked with a Sharpie on paper, then scanned, reduced to pure black and white, and colored in Photoshop.

I was tired of the uneven lines of my digital inks. I obviously need practice. And, as this picture shows, I also need some schooling on drawing 3d forms and shading them to give them better volume. But I really like how the tone of the colors came out in this one.

Sorry for the rushed background. Beats a gray background, I suppose.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Elemental Sketches pt. 2

More character design sketches for the Elemental Game.

More about this game when I have time to make an intelligent post about it.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Here's a quick and crappy concept sketch for the main character of a game I might start working on soon.

I like the concept of the game, and will probably devote a post to it, once I have something prototyped. It's still in the early planning stages, but I think I'm onto something.

I've got a high-level design document (no design doc for the game's engine yet). I will be using Torque Game Builder for the game's development. I've been using TGB since it was called T2D and was in Early Adopter mode, and it's come a long way. I think it still lacks a few details for a 2d platform game, but I have yet to create a prototype.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

For Everlasting Peace

I colored the Megaman sketch I posted earlier.

About an hour in Photoshop.

I tried to go a step further than my usual harsh-outlined shading technique. I like how the speculars turned out on his suit, but the face could definitely be better.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Polygonal Fowl

Well, this is technically for class, but I've been working on this meager Maya model of a chicken all day. My first one ever.

Texturing took a lot of time to figure out, and the one I finally applied was colored out in just five minutes. I need to go in and add a lot more detail to the texture, and there are parts of the geometry that don't quite work. I'm counting on the fact that there won't be any close-ups of the chicken, so I can get away with having a "not quite perfect" geometry.

Maybe by next week I'll have a fully rigged version.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Robots and Astronauts

I had some time tonight, so I decided to sketch a couple of things. All in photoshop with a Wacom, about 30 minutes total.

I love retro-futuristic astronauts. They're so dreamy!

My favorite robot ever.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lumber Man

Sketch - about 30 minutes in Photoshop

Lumber Man (sometimes I call him Saw Man) has been one of my ideas for a Megaman Boss since, well ... since before the original Megaman series eroded beyond repair.

I didn't block out the forms well enough, so it's a little awkward of a pose. The shading/colors were done in a hurry. But, c'mon, he's wearing a flannel jacket with cutoff sleeves! That should excuse everything.

New Digs

I have come up with a template I think works. I like the little pixel city-scape. I couldn't think of anything to put in the header graphic-wise, so I whipped that up.

The purpose of this blog is to give myself a metric to measure myself against. It will be a dumping ground for sketches, game ideas, and other creative precipitation. I'm usually my worst critic, but I'm not a great self-motivator to get better. I'm hoping by exposing my ideas and art on a regular basis, I'll have a) a reason to sketch, practice, and flesh out ideas and b) a nice record of my progress as an artist, or lack thereof.

I'm hoping for at least 2 new sketches a week, ideally working up to 4 or 5 per week. They'll be anything from 15-minute speed sketches, or stuff that took 4 hours to complete.

I'll also spill out some of my ideas and pratfalls when it comes to making indie games.

frist pr0st

Well, here goes nothing.